Thursday, July 27, 2006

Withdrawn / Did Not Qualify

Well, Charlie Grapski did not qualify for State House. In a letter to supporters, Mr. Grapski stated that it was a difficult decision, as he believed that he could have won the race. His letter was filled with lofty platitutdes of taking back local government, town by town, starting with Alachua.

In one statement, Mr. Grapski says that he aims to, ". . . begin restablishing the rule of law and real democratic government BY THE PEOPLE." I would suggest that Mr. Grapski start by filing his overdue campaign finance report. By law, candidates are required to file campaign finance reports by a due date. Mr. Grapski's last campaign finance report was due on July 10th. To this day, it remains unfiled.

Mr. Grapski could then continue his efforts by correcting his previous campaign report to show his contributions. His January 1st to March 31st campaign finance report shows expenditures and no contributions. That is certainly not abnormal, in and of itself, except that it was Mr. Grapski's first campaign report. It would seem that Mr. Grapski is claiming to have spent money before he had it.

The fact is that both his incomplete Q1 report and his non-existent Q2 report put Mr. Grapski in violation of Florida Statutes 106.07. While Mr. Grapski is beating his chest about clean and honest elections, he has committed serious violations of state law, as a candidate.

Mr. Grapski, come clean. Fix your report and file the missing one. Indeed, you will still have other reports to file. As it is now known that you are incapable of adhereing to campaign finance laws, we would like to see you open your campaign account for inspection and reconciliation with your reports.

Mr. Grapski's letter to his supporters is as follows:

Friday, July 21, 2006
A message from Charlie
Hello friends

I have decided this morning to NOT qualify for the 2006 general election for the Florida House. This was a difficult decision - as I believe I could have won this race and played a significant role in bringing change to our political system from the level of the State of Florida.

With the legal battles ongoing I have had to neglect my campaign to instead redirect efforts into the fight for the rights of the residents of one city in my district.

I believe that, at this time, the best use of my talents and those of others who support me is to focus them inward - prove we can indeed take back our government for the people in one city - while at the same time building a true grassroots movement in the counties of North Central Florida in preparation for the 2008 election cycle.

This will enable us to refocus these efforts over a two-year period of organization and development so that we can be even more effective in our struggle.

I hope to build the Alachua Project in two directions: 1) Recruiting national support for a grassroots effort to take back one town - and prove we can do it; 2) Expanding this to taking back the local level of government town-by-town across Florida and across the nation - thus turning it into the Democracy Project.

I believe that if we can direct 10% of the national grassroots movement into a focused local reform effort - we can level the playing field and we can begin re-establishing the true rule of law and real democratic government BY THE PEOPLE. With our collective knowledge, energy, resources, etc. we can take back America one town at a time.

I believe, furthermore, that with two years of organization and mobilization through such a project we can lay the foundations for a truly independent grassroots wave of empowered citizens who will be the primary, rather than secondary, forces in the 2008 election cycle nationwide.

I will announce my plans for the next two years in the upcoming days. I apologize to all of you who have done so much to support me and I hope that I have not let you down. This is a very hard decision - but I believe that in the long-run it will prove to be for the best.

This is not about me alone - but about all of us - and I am committed to do any and everything in my power for the next two years to accomplish our goals and objectives. This is about all of us - as a community.

I will need your support in these endeavors - and hope that I can call on you for assistance in these efforts.

Feel free to call or email me to let me know your feelings on this and if you have any ideas or suggestions.

Again, I apologize to all who have done so much to assist me in this effort to date. Its people like you that have given me the ground upon which to remain optimistic that WE, together, can fight this very important battle - and it is a struggle that will not be won overnight - and bring it to a victory within the next few years.

Posted by SJ


At Thu Jul 27, 06:35:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Yes, I can see Mr. Grapski sitting at his breakfast table looking over his failed campaign and looking to save face. I doubt that he had enough petitions signed. I doubt he had enough money to buy his way onto the ballot. So he decided that he would tell his friends that his talents would be better served elsewhere because they certainly weren't in following the law he claims is so important to him.

Watching the video of his speech at the Democratic gathering in Gainesville it was clear that he was long on bloviating and short on real workable ideas for a platform.

At Thu Jul 27, 08:33:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski might want to take down his plea for donations to his campaign on his web site. Since he didn't qualify he can't take unsuspecting people's money.

When is he going to go public with whatever moneys he did receive with his paypal site (that he didn't notice as a paid political advertisemnet, another election violation).

At Thu Jul 27, 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


Sorry - but you fail to make your point - as you have incomplete information. You have no idea what caused the delay in the filing of the report - and no, a delay (regardless of the reason) is not a crime as you are trying to make it out to be.

As for my reasons for not qualifying - I will present them publicly shortly.

As for your claim that the so-called pay-pal site required a disclaimer as a political campaign - again you show your complete ignorance of the laws - as that was not a campaign site but a site soliciting money for a legal defense fund.


Over the next two years - the City of Alachua will be my project. Among my aims will be to remove or have removed the incompetent and arrogant "leadership" of that City.

And I intend on holding to account each and every actor who is engaged in Alachua's politics and governance.

At Thu Jul 27, 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie said:
Sorry - but you fail to make your point - as you have incomplete information. You have no idea what caused the delay in the filing of the report - and no, a delay (regardless of the reason) is not a crime as you are trying to make it out to be.

Charlie, I don't need the reason, and, yes, late filing of your report is a crime and is subject to penalty of law.

Whatever your reason, you can explain it to the Florida Election Commission when the complaint is filed.

By the way, 106.0705 states:

(3) Reports filed pursuant to this section shall be completed and filed through the electronic filing system not later than midnight of the day designated. Reports not filed by midnight of the day designated are late filed and are subject to the penalties under s. 106.04(8), s. 106.07(8), or s. 106.29(3), as applicable.

4) Each report filed pursuant to this section is considered to be under oath by the candidate and treasurer or the chair and treasurer, whichever is applicable, and such persons are subject to the provisions of s. 106.04(4)(d), s. 106.07(5), or s. 106.29(2), as applicable.

And, allow my to clarify the point: You are a hypocrit. You have made clean and honest elections your cause, but you, yourself, have broken the rule of law that you claim to want to restore, and you will be held accountable.

As for your excuses, as I said, save them for the FEC and an administrative law judge.

At Thu Jul 27, 10:41:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Stafford (if you want to read the prior thread - you will find more of my reasons for not running),

You are incorrect. There is no CRIME committed in the late filing of a report - and you are also incorrect about your claims of the prior report being "incomplete."

You think you know far more than you actually know.

As for the recent report - you have no idea what happened and why it was late in filing. So you have nothing to go on except for the fact that it was late (not an uncommon phenomenon).

But you are really trying to stretch things to claim that a "late report" (for any reason) is tantamount to "dirty" and "dishonest" campaigning.

You are grasping at straws. But then again - of course you are - because the one thing that you despise (as do far too many political actors in America) - is someone who actually stands up and demands that public officials are held to account.

At Thu Jul 27, 10:47:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood,

Responding to your first claim that my campaign "failed" - you are incorrect.

First of all - at best a "failed" campaign is a campaign that is waged and lost. I did not lose the campaign - I removed myself from it.

Secondly - in my view - a campaign is not about the particular candidate - but about the people and the issues.

My campaign has been far more successful than you let on - but then again - you fail to even recognize that it is a result of my campaign that this very site you are posting on even exists.

My campaign has thus far been quite successful. And I believe that I could have won this election had I remained in the race. My reasons for removing myself from the race were not due to any fear of losing - my reasons were primarily due to the obstacles placed in my way by the ongoing legal battles, and my commitment to seeing them through - not for my personal benefit - but for the good of the public.

I am now free to spend 100% of my time campaigning for DEMOCRACY in Alachua (and elsewhere) - rather than merely for electing me to a particular position. I believe in such a position I could do a great deal toward this goal - but in the current context - I believe that the greater good will be obtained for all by focusing my resources and energies locally so as to resolve a very serious problem of incompetence, negligence, and corruption in Alachua's City Hall.

At Fri Jul 28, 06:20:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Sometimes I feel like Rush Limbaugh fighting liberals with half my brain behind my back. Mr. Grapski says:

As for your claim that the so-called pay-pal site required a disclaimer as a political campaign - again you show your complete ignorance of the laws - as that was not a campaign site but a site soliciting money for a legal defense fund.

Yet on his site entitled, "Grapski Campaign Blog", he states,

Live from DemocracyFest 3, Charlie Grapski told his story about corruption in the City of Alachua and the stealing of elections.

We need your help taking back Florida - and taking back America one town at a time - starting with "A" for Alachua.

The donation portion of the campaign site is currently down. We are working to fix this right now - and will have a temporary PayPal system up shortly.

In the meantime - please email and pledge your support. We will email you once the online payment system is back up and running.

With $60,000 we can send Charlie to Tallahassee to fight for fair elections and ethics in government in the Sunshine State - notorious for the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Each and every contribution helps.

Now I don't have the "brilliant" mind of Mr. Grapski but that sounds like a plea for campaign contributions to me. He can explain it to the Election Commission. I'm sure that they will see the same thing that I do.

And we are still waiting to see who responded to that plea.

At Fri Jul 28, 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:
My reasons for removing myself from the race were not due to any fear of losing - my reasons were primarily due to the obstacles placed in my way by the ongoing legal battles, and my commitment to seeing them through - not for my personal benefit - but for the good of the public.

How much of your decision was due to your not being able to get enough petitions signed or not being able to get enough supporters to put their money where your mouth is?

How can you win an election if no one will support you?

At Fri Jul 28, 09:22:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood - I know how excited you are to try and find anything that you could possibly use to distract from the facts that I have exposed regarding you, your wife, and those you support in the city of Alachua - but again - you are simply wrong.

I am not going to discuss such matters with you as I have no reason to play games with you.

But just to correct your ignorance:

1) That is not a "paypal" site that you are referring to - however it is a site which contains a political disclaimer - so you are simply incorrect about the facts.

2) The amount of support I have is certainly something that you should be concerned about. But as for persons responding to requests for monetary support - the only ones that matter are those that I ACCEPTED - not those that PLEDGED money.

All money accepted by my campaign has been reported as the law requires.

Indeed the request for PLEDGES of money you refer to went out when I was on Air America discussing the corruption in the City of Alachua.

My support base is quite broad - and goes across the country as well as within the counties. And the story of Alachua is being spread far and wide.

I have made a conscious decision to redirect that support base into an effort strategically focused on the City of Alachua - rather than on my particular run for office.

I believe that the public good will be better served by this effort than by my going to Tallahassee (as important as that too may be).

I understand that in your world - you cannot identify with such actions which are not self-serving. But then again - that is the difference between you and I.

Once again - I had ample support on my petition drive - but decided, due to the legal actions initiated by your wife - which came at the time when I had the choice of getting a MERE 100 more petitions or to focus on the legal battles - to instead pay to be on the ballot.

To pay to be on the ballot would have cost a MERE $1800. I certainly had more than enough support to raise that sum.

I CHOSE not to get on the ballot - although I did not make that decision until the last minute.

There are many people who are quite disappointed that I am not running. I too am disappointed in that. But it was a choice that was made based upon the totality of circumstances, the reality of the situation created by the City placing trumped up charges and the State Attorney not dropping them but holding them over my head to seek a deal, and what would be best in a the LONG-RUN for the people of Alachua County (and Marion County - but that too is a reason for this decision).

Because I have had to focus so much of my time and energy cleaning up the corruption in one small town in Alachua county - I have not had sufficient time to spend with other potential constituents.

While this is not necessary to obtain their votes - I do believe it is necessary for me to REPRESENT them in the legislature.

I have therefore decided to continue my efforts focused on Alachua - while the opportunity of greater time will allow me to go out to these other communities (as I had originally planned on doing the past three months before all of the legal wranglings began) without the pressure of an upcoming election.

You should indeed fear my activities - as it is apparent that you do - as I am 100% committed to putting an end to the type of corrupt governance and politics that you represent.

You have much to lose from my activities as a particular individual - although as a citizen you would gain equally from my efforts as all other citizens. I am not seeking to represent particular interests - but the public good. And your activities may be in the private and particular interests of yourself, your wife, and those you associate with - but they are contrary to the public good.

Keep grasping at straws Mr. Calderwood. I encourage it.

At Fri Jul 28, 09:35:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

I am sooo afraid!

Mr. Grapski says:

You have much to lose from my activities as a particular individual

What would that be? I have nothing to lose but time debating with you.

At Fri Jul 28, 09:55:00 AM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie said:
All money accepted by my campaign has been reported as the law requires.

Charlie, your ignorance is astounding. The law requires you to file not only your income or expense, but the lack thereof. The latter is referred to by the Division of Elections as a "Waiver." If you have no contributions and no expenditures, then you are required to signify such by the filing of a Waiver. When you then look at the online report, for the line item for that reporting period, instead of there being any numbers, there is a big, capital "W" in the left column of that line.

The system is designed for candiate transparency, a concept, apparently, lost on you.

If you file nothing,then you are leaving an open question about what you did as a candidate.

Take a look at other candidates that, like you, could get the signatures or the money to qualify . . . I am sorry, I meant decided not to qualify. Pull up a report on Matthew Unger. When you see all those W's in the left column that means he filed a waiver. Why didn't you?

At Fri Jul 28, 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

If Mr. Grapski filed a waiver that meant he had no contributions but he has said that he had the money to file to qualify (sic).

Mr. Grapski says:
I certainly had more than enough support to raise that sum.

Where was that support when needed? They ponied up $10,000 for the lawsuit. Maybe you are loosing your support. Maybe they "pledged" support but wouldn't actually send you more money. Is that a true statement? Maybe you talk a good game but are not able to play it by the rules. Is that a true statement?

At Fri Jul 28, 10:13:00 AM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie Said:
You are incorrect. There is no CRIME committed in the late filing of a report - and you are also incorrect about your claims of the prior report being "incomplete."

Use whatever semantics you wish, Charlie.

1. State law requires the filing of candidate financial reports

2. State Law spells out the due dates of the reports

3. If you did not take in any money or make any expenditures, then you are still required to file a Waiver by the due date.

4. You filed no waiver and you filed no report.

5. Your first report lists expenditures (seemingly reimbursements) to yourself and your treasurer, but no contributions. I am willing to bet that you spent your own money, but you, obviously, don't understand how to comply with reporting requirements. The way that you filed your report indicates that you spent money before you received it, or that you took in contributions and didn't report them. Money that was spent, by you, should be listed as a loan or an in-kind contribution from yourself. You have left an open question as to where your money came from.

If any other Republican candidate had filed their report the way that you did, you would have hammered them. If James Lewis had filed reports the way that you did, you would be screaming bloody murder.

Again, the laws are there for candidate and election transparency. That, I would expect you support.

Play the word games, as you wish, but on your first time out as a candidate, you are in violation of the spirit and the letter of those laws.

At Fri Jul 28, 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


Again you are ignorant of the law.

And again there is no issue here.

My first report was an accurate report. My second report is an accurate report.

Yes the law requires reporting. I do not dispute that - nor do I seek to violate that law.

Yes the law has a deadline. I do not dispute that nor do I seek to violate that law.

Both reports have been filed. Both are accurate statements of both expenditures and receipts.

You can go on and on about your silly view that it "appears" as if I spent money that I did not have - but it simply is grasping at straws.

I find it amusing how easy it is for you to be distracted. And how desperate you are to try and distract from the facts of political corruption and illegal and unethical activities that I am exposing by your friends and allies.

Hugh Calderwood keeps trying to state that I don't have any support. Yet he seems to think it is necessary to try and counter my arguments and my presence in the political sphere. If he truly believed I had no support - he would ignore me.

The fact that he does not, and you do not, and the Republican Party of Alachua County does not - tends to suggest strongly that you feel threatened by my activities.

At Fri Jul 28, 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Hugh and Stafford:

Let me pose a question to you.

Clovis Watson had me arrested, alleging that I "secretly" recorded him without his "consent."

He did not arrest me at the time this felony (he claims) allegedly occurred.

Why not?

Instead he met over the weekend with others - including by her own admission your wife (Mr. Calderwood) - and several individuals and city officials arranged for my arrest several days later.


Now, given these facts, what will you say when the AUDIOTAPE is released to the public - which has been in the possession of the State Attorney - which clearly has Clovis Watson stating:

"I notice that you are recording me. [Thus proving the "secret" claim false] I have no problem with that. [Thus proving the "consent" claim false]"

How do you justify this arrest on this basis? How does your wife justify it? How embarrassed do you think the City of Alachua will be when that AUDIOTAPE is released by me to the public and the press?

How will you attempt to spin this and deflect from it?

At Fri Jul 28, 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, this thread is about your law breaking, not your accusations against Clovis Watson. Your previous post simply shows that you are attempting to run from your own campaign indiscretions as fast as possible.

Who did you file your last campaign report with? The Martian Division of Elections?

I understand exactly what you are doing. It is damage control. You don't need for me to believe you, but you need for your Howard Empowered and your ALA comrades to believe you, so you just say what you know is not true with the expectation that they will have enough blind loyalty to your causes and fixations that they will believe you.

At Fri Jul 28, 01:30:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Let's see if we can see Mr. Grapski's logic in his mess.

First he says that he didn't decide to quit his campaign until Friday morning, just hours before the qualifing deadline. As he ran through his options in his "billiant" mind he weighed the following options.
1) I have enough petitions but I'm 100 short (?)
2) I have enough "pledges" to buy my way on the ballot but they have not sent in their money.(??)
3) I'm broke from having to defend myself from all the havoc I've caused even though Prof Little works for free. Darn those idiots in Alachua. I have tried to "help" them see their errors by filing a lawsuit against them and disrupting their meetings and cursing in front of children but they only want to defend themselves from all my "good" works. If I had just gotten a real job I would have real money in my check book (and my filing fee wouldn't have bounced)and I wouldn't have to "consider" filing for bankruptcy.

So I don't have enough petitions and I don't have the money to file, so I'll say that I don't have enough time to run a campaign that I know I would win (since not enough people signed and not enough people gave me money).

Did I get it right?

At Fri Jul 28, 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Stafford is correct. Mr. Grapski is a hypocrit who plays word games in an attempt to avoid answering questions that many watching this blog have asked. First he says:

All money accepted by my campaign has been reported as the law requires.

Does that mean he actually got someone to contribute but he fails to report that as the LAW requires. Or is it that he never was able to get ANYONE to support him (in a race he is convinced he would have won [sic]) He failed to report a waiver that would have shown the world that he couldn't even get one person to back him, how sad.
Then he says:

My second report is an accurate report.

Where is that "accurate" report for all to see???? What is Mr. Grapski hidding? What does HE fear????


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